Iridium vs the rest

Iridium vs the rest


Alaska is a great state in many ways, we love it because of its beauty, remoteness, wildlife, mountains,  rivers, oceans and all activities it offers.

Because of its size and geography cell phone and internet coverage is almost non existent so the use of satellite services is in most cases the only way of communication and in some situations a lifeline.

Now, not all the satellite phones are the same, the networks have different characteristics that makes them unique. We only sell Iridium products because is the only company with complete coverage in Alaska and the world. We will explain each of them below and the reason why Iridium is the most reliable.

Iridium: their constellation consist of 66 LEO cross linked satellites allowing transmission between neighboring satellites, they have a polar orbit which covers the polar regions of the earth making Iridium the only company with true global coverage. In Alaska these satellites will travel overhead providing service even in deep valleys and close to mountains. Iridium mostly consists of handheld communications, they also offer low speed internet connections (2.4 kbps), short burst data, tracking and maritime communications. Some of their products are: Iridium Extreme, Iridium 9555, Iridium 9505A, Iridium 9505, Iridium 9500, Iridium GO!, Iridium Open Port, Garmin InReach, Spider Tracks.

Globalstar: their constellation consists of 32 LEO satellites with a Walker constellation which only covers areas below certain latitude (+/- 70 degrees) their satellites act as ‘bent pipes” that means that they bounce the signal back to a satellite phone or a gateway down on the ground they don’t support the cross link connection between satellites so they need a gateway to send and receive the signal. Globalstar satellites don’t provide coverage over the Polar Regions and their service is limited in Alaska because of terrain and latitude. In most locations you need a clear view of the south sky and service is almost non existent North of Fairbanks. Globalstar offers mostly hand held communications, Data connectivity, the SPOT messenger (works around 75% of the time in Alaska) and short burst data. Data speeds up to 10kbps. Some of the products are SPOT satellite messenger, SPOT phone, Sat-Fi and more.

Inmarsat: their network consists of 3 constellations with 11 satellites in geosynchronous orbit. These satellites are located at a same position at all times they don’t provide coverage over the Polar Regions and because Alaska’s latitude and terrain coverage is limited. Since their satellites are located at a lower altitude mountains and deep valleys will make impossible a network connection. Inmarsat requires portable terminals in order to be able to make a connection with the satellite. The services provided are high speed internet, fax, voice, maritime communications, and handheld satellite phones (only in the lower 48). Inmarsat would be a perfect system for a remote camp or a small team that requires internet connection in remote areas. Data speeds up to 800 kbps. Some of their products are: BGAN, IsatHub, Fleet One, Fleet broadband, Swift Broadband, Global Xpress and Isatphone.

Hughes Net: This is a fixed high speed internet service it requires a dish or antenna installation is not portable and the antenna requires a permanent installation. This service is offered by Susitna Energy Systems 907-337-1300.

Exede: This is also a fixed high speed internet service that also requires a dish. For more information please contact  Susitna Energy Systems 907-337-1300.

MSV/MSAT (now Ligado Skyterra): 2 geostationary satellites covering North America, Central America, The Caribbean, Hawaii, Canada and Parts of Alaska. They offer voice, two way radio (unlimited between MSV users), tracking and mobile data mostly for maritime customers.

Thuraya: their constellation consists of 2 geostationary satellites that provide coverage on Europe, Africa and Asia. They offer voice, mobile data, and high speed internet.

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